Master's Programme in Earth Science – Hydrology/Hydrogeology

120 credits

Do you want to take part in the management of our water, or study how to meet water-related disasters? Are you interested in water chemistry and its interplay with the environment? In the Master's Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Hydrology/Hydrogeology, you combine studies in hydrological processes such as runoff, groundwater formation and flow as well as how we use water resources and human-water interactions.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

The specialisation in Hydrology/Hydrogeology, within the Master's Programme in Earth Science, focuses on processes relating to water at or near the Earth's surface and the water-human interaction. The programme combines advanced courses on fundamental hydrological processes, and the modelling of groundwater and surface water with hydrochemistry and field methods. It also provides a good foundation for the management of water resources in our society.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • take part in the management of our water or study how to meet water-related disasters,
  • combine studies in hydrological processes as well as how we use water resources and human-water interactions,
  • learn GIS and numerical modelling to address complex hydrological problems.

The Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University is one of the most comprehensive academic departments of its kind in Europe. Research in Earth science focuses on subjects that range from the Earth's core to the atmosphere, on scales from sub-microscopic minerals and fossils to the formation of mountains and oceans, and in time from the formation of the Earth to the processes currently reshaping the planet.

Student profile

You have a strong foundation in Earth science and during your Bachelor's degree, you gained some experience doing fieldwork as well as analysing your data in a laboratory. You probably have taken a methodology course and have a naturally analytical attitude that allows you to apply your theoretical knowledge to solve problems.

You can critically analyse and reflect on problems and are creative and innovative enough to come up with your own ideas. Therefore you expect to contribute as much to the educational experience of others as you expect to learn from their experience and knowledge.

A future PhD education is a possibility you might have thought about and would value an opportunity to get in closer contact with current research by working in a research group while doing your Master's degree.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Earth Science as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Science (60 credits).

The first semester starts with a choice between the courses Dynamics of Earth Systems - Global Change and Applied Geoinformatics or Exploration and Environmental Geophysics. The course Dynamics of Earth Systems - Global Change provides a chance to explore the current research on Earth systems, interactions between Earth systems and how they change with time. The applied GIS course offers case studies relevant to the different areas within Earth Sciences.

These are followed by a course in presentation and publication that provides training and experience in presentation skills alongside courses in hydrochemistry as well as statistical and data analysis.

The second semester starts with courses in hydrological processes and environmental assessment. The hydrological processes course focuses on different aspects of the hydrological cycle and how to qualitatively and quantitatively describe water flow and storage of water within the hydrological cycle. They are followed by a course in the ground and surface water modelling in parallel with a course in field techniques and methods.

The third semester of the specialisation starts with a set of three courses. One of the courses focuses on the distribution and treatment of drinking water. The second course investigates the interplay between hydrological regimes, society and our land use and how hydrological resources (dams and reservoirs) are used to meet society's needs. The third course is a seminar course on current research topics within physical geography and hydrology. The semester ends with two parallel courses, where one course investigates the physical and chemical properties of natural snow, ecology as well as the energy balance and melt dynamics of snow-covered landscapes. The second course is studying the disaster cycle (mitigation, preparation, response and recovery) about natural hazards.

The fourth and last semester of the specialisation is a degree project in the form of an independent project.

Courses within the programme

See the programme outline for courses within the programme.

The teachers in the Master's Programme in Earth Science are experts in their respective fields, giving you up-to-date contact with front-line research in an open and creative educational atmosphere. The teaching consists of a balanced mix of theoretical and practical work providing experience in both research and industry-oriented applications. Excursions, fieldwork and study visits are included in some courses.

Instruction in the Master's programme builds on your experience and knowledge from your previous education. You are expected to actively participate and contribute to the learning environment and take responsibility for your own and others' learning. The teachers are responsible for creating opportunities for active learning at the individual and group level. Purposeful and respectful dialogue between teachers and students contributes to the constant improvement and development of courses.

Examination generally includes written exams, complemented by seminar presentations/discussions, project work, laboratory work and field reports.

The Master's Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Hydrology/Hydrogeology, prepares you with skills and knowledge for a career as a professional hydrologist or hydrogeologist in environmental and natural resource management and in academia.

Our graduates work at, for example, AECOM, Berg AB and Sveco Environment AB. Jobs include hydrogeologist, hydrologist, environmental consultant, etc. The programme also provides good opportunities for postgraduate education with subsequent research careers.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career.